Some of the cheaper things you can do to clean are also the safest for your family. Here are some tips and tricks to save you a buck or two:
~I love using diaper cloths as my cleaning rags. They are thick, so they absorb a lot of mess, and they are soft on glass and furniture. Wash them, bleach them if you need to, they are great and last a long, long time.
~Vinegar is a wonder all in itself! It is great for cleaning just about anything and it kills most mold, bacteria, and germs due to its acidity. I always have it on hand and regularly mop my floors with hot water and a few caps of vinegar. It is a great little cleaning secret that you should share with everyone you know. Check out this page on Vinegar Tips for more great info: Click Here
~Have an old toothbrush? DON'T THROW IT AWAY! I always hang on to my old ones and use them to clean those crevice areas, such as behind faucets, in the corners of walls/floors, sliding door areas and under toilet rims-I keep one old toothbrush just for the toilet cleaning.
~ Have an old pumice stone? Use it to gently scrub away any rust marks inside your toilet. Be careful not to scrub too hard though.
~ I love using green scrubbies (as I call them) in my showers and anywhere with built up soap scum. They work great on chrome sinks and faucets as well. Be careful with them though as they can scratch.
~I use Dobie pads to clean my dishes with and when they start looking yucky or lose their yellow color I use them with my kitchen cleaners, that way I really get my money's worth out of them. No need to buy separate cleaning sponges as long as you are using products that kill bacteria and mold anyway.
~Use an old putty knife to clean other hard to reach places or spots with mold. They are very thin and sharp so you can get into any area and scrape away. Just be careful not to scrub away anything you want there! Also, wrap a diaper cloth around the edges and use it that way to get in tiny areas.
~Toothpicks are another cheap thing that most people have around there house that can clean in tiny areas. Wrap a cloth or even paper towel around the end for maximum cleaning power!
~One thing I avoid buying is paper towels. While they are a great thing to have around, just in case, I find that if I pay for them they seem to get used very fast. Whereas I could probably use a cloth or towel to do the exact same work for free-just a quick wash in the washing machine and done.
~This brings me to your washing machine habits. Be sure to only use as much detergent as you need. There may be a fill line on the cap of your detergent bottle, but chances are(at least in my case) you don't need near as much as they say you do, especially if your clothes are sudsy when they come out. So, watch and feel your clothes when they come out-smell them if you want and adjust your amount of detergent as needed. You may like it the way it is and that's fine. I prefer to use a bit less. ;)
~This works the same with your dishwasher. You may not need to fill it all the way up--especially if you are finding an excess of soap leftover in the cup or on your dishes. Also, NEVER run your dishes through a cycle unless your washer is full. That would be a waste of a lot of water and electric. Save yourself some pennies and wait or wash them by hand. You can also save a bit by not setting them to dry, but instead opening the door when they are done and letting them air dry.
~If you ever have that soap scum buildup on you dishes from your dishwasher, then try soaking them in vinegar. This works for everything I have ever tried including plastic, glass and copper bottom pans. I soak them for as long as needed to loosen the scum with a little scrub. You may want to check your manufacturer's guide, just in case there is any reason the acid in the vinegar could damage anything, but I have never had any problems.
I feel like I could go on and on, so I may add some more tips later-as I think of them! I hope this is helpful and thanks for reading! =)